How To Use “Help A Reporter Out” For Your Blog Or Brand

By | February 1, 2016
Ever heard of popular PR and journalism tool "Help A Reporter Out"?  If
you're not acquainted but you have a brand or expertise to market, this
quickstart guide will give you the basics.

At its core, Help A Reporter Out, or HARO, is a platform to help connect
journalists with sources.  Users can register as either sources or media
outlets - or both.  For the purposes of this guide, we'll be talking
about using it as a source.

As a source, you'll be able to sign up to HARO's emails, which are sent
out multiple times per day and include upwards of 100 stories that media
outlets, from international news sites down to niche blogs, are working

The descriptions will call for specific experts or those with certain
experiences to weigh in and share their advice, stories, and/or
experiences.  Clicking the reply link within HARO's email will open up a
new message window that, upon completion, will be sent off to the media

Responding to a call for sources is basically a pitch in which you can
sell your brand's story to someone who will publish a story about it. 
For example, you might find someone looking for B2B marketing experts
for an interview.  If you know about B2B products and write a great
pitch to an outlet, they may publish your advice in their final piece. 
If this happens on a larger outlet, you can score some major exposure
and credibility by being featured.

The great thing is that calls to action come in a number of categories,
so even if you're outside of the business and tech circles, there will
be relevant lifestyle, fitness, travel, etc. prompts that you can
respond to.  You might not find anything in every email blast, but it's
easy to respond to a few relevant prompts per week.

A couple of tips:

1.	Always be sure to deliver value in your pitch, and explain why the
outlet's readers are going to learn something from you.  Never mention
wanting your own exposure, instead focus on giving the journalist or
outlet the best story and more useful information possible.

2.	If a publication is listed as anonymous, try and feel out some
details about the project in your first email to them to assess the
value of being featured.  That said, don't be afraid of being featured
in smaller projects, because these outlets are probably going to hustle
to promote and squeeze every readership they can out of anything they

The results of having your brand featured in a larger piece can be a
huge boon for a small boon, and also help build credibility in your
niche, as your input on a topic has now been published.  Consistency is
key with HARO; respond to every prompt that seems like a good fit, and
eventually you'll match up with someone who needs exactly what you have
to offer.

Now get to pitching, good luck!
I look forward to your success...

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